The Universe within 2 billion Light Years

This is a map of all the major known superclusters within two billion light years plotted onto the supergalactic plane. Each point on this map is a rich cluster of galaxies containing hundreds of galaxies as listed in Abell's catalog of rich clusters of galaxies. This map does not show every rich cluster but only those which are grouped together into large supercluster formations. Each of these superclusters must also contain hundreds or maybe thousands of smaller groups of galaxies. This map is clearly not complete, the plane of our galaxy runs approximately down the centre of the map and most astronomers prefer to study galaxies that are far away from this plane where there is a lot less gas and dust obscuring our view of the universe. This explains why most of the known superclusters are on the left and right sides of the map.

Superclusters in the known universe

The labels on this map refer to the constellations in which the majority of the supercluster is found, this may be different from the supercluster's usual name, thus the Perseus-Pisces supercluster is labeled as 'Per-And'. The largest supercluster on this map is the very large Horologium supercluster (labeled Hor-Eri), although it must be stressed that there are large numbers of rich clusters which do not yet have a published redshift. For example, there is probably a large supercluster in the constellation of Caelum at a distance of 1.4 billion light years associated with the Abell clusters 3256, 3265, 3268, 3273, 3275, 3285, 3289, 3295 and 3307 but only one of these clusters has a redshift listed in Struble and Rood's compilation of cluster redshifts (A3295, z=0.1062) and hence this supercluster is not plotted on the map.


A List of Major Superclusters in the Nearby Universe

Here is the list of the known superclusters in the universe that contain at least three Abell galaxy clusters. (It is also possible to produce a much longer list than this one that contains superclusters of only two Abell clusters such as the Coma supercluster.) The available data becomes very sparse beyond 2 billion light years which is why there are only seven superclusters listed beyond that distance. The total number of superclusters within 2 billion light years must be at least six hundred and maybe as high as one thousand, depending on how you exactly define a supercluster. The total number of large galaxies within 2 billion light years is roughly 25 million with at least ten times as many dwarf galaxies.

     1             2    3     4   5      6      7    8      9            10
Common Name      Equatorial  Supergal Redshift Dis  Size   Con      Abell clusters in the supercluster
                 Coordinates  Coords     z     Mly  Mly
                  RA    Dec    L  B
Centaurus        13 00 -32.0  148  -7  0.014   194  150   Cen-Hya   1060, 3526, 3565, 3574, 3581.
Perseus-Pisces   02 32 +39.8  341  -8  0.016   222  100   Per-And   262, 347, 426.
Pavo-Indus       20 34 -37.0  230 +32  0.017   235  100   Ind-Mic   3656, 3698, 3742.
                 00 53 -48.4  249 -11  0.027   372  150   Phe-Scl   2731, 2806, 2836, 2870, 2877, 2896.
Hercules (a)     16 23 +36.7   77 +50  0.030   413  100   Her-CBo   2162, 2197, 2199.
Leo              11 03 +22.7   85 -18  0.032   440  150   Leo-Uma   999, 1016, 1142, 1177, 1185, 1228, 1257, 1267.
Shapley (a)      13 51 -32.1  151  +3  0.037   507  100   Cen-Hya   3570, 3571, 3575, 3578.
Hercules (b)     15 48 +16.1  109 +45  0.037   507  150   Her-Ser   2052, 2063, 2107, 2147, 2148, 2151, 2152.
                 05 57 -26.6  255 -73  0.038   521  200   Col-Lep   548, 3341, 3374, 3381, 3390.
                 23 28 +14.8  306 +24  0.040   548  100   Peg       2572, 2589, 2593, 2657.
                 01 07  +0.4  298  -3  0.043   588  100   Cet       119, 147, 168.
                 01 22 +14.5  312  -2  0.044   601  150   Psc       160, 193, 195.
Shapley (b)      13 21 -29.7  147  -2  0.048   654  200   Cen-Hya   1631, 1644, 1709, 1736, 3528, 3530, 3532, 3542, 3553,
                                                                    3554, 3555, 3556, 3558, 3559, 3560, 3562, 3564, 3566,
                                                                    3572, 3577.
                 23 43 -35.8  257  +5  0.049   668  100   Scl       2717, 4008, 4012, 4013, 4059.
Sextans          10 15  -5.2  110 -40  0.050   681  200   Sex       912, 930, 957, 970, 978, 979, 993.
                 06 20 -52.5  215 -53  0.051   694  100   Pup-Car   3380, 3391, 3395.
                 11 30  -4.3  115 -22  0.052   708  100   Leo-Vir   1216, 1308, 1334.
                 15 10  +6.1  120 +34  0.052   708  150   Vir-Ser   2020, 2023, 2040, 2055.
                 21 55  -6.8  273 +40  0.055   747  100   Aqr       2366, 2399, 2415.
                 02 17  -7.9  294 -22  0.057   774  150   Cet       303, 326, 358.
Ursa Major       11 48 +55.6   59  +4  0.058   787  200   UMa       1270, 1291, 1318, 1324, 1377, 1383, 1436, 1452, 1507.
                 17 35 +77.8   31 +27  0.058   787  150   Dra-UMi   2248, 2256, 2271, 2296, 2309.
                 20 12 -56.1  218 +16  0.058   787  100   Tel       3651, 3667, 3685.
                 21 48 -17.6  260 +36  0.058   787  100   Cap       2361, 2362, 2372, 2382, 2383, 2401.
Pisces-Cetus (a) 00 34 -20.7  275  -1  0.060   813  350   Scl-Cet   14, 27, 74, 85, 86, 87, 114, 117, 121, 126, 133, 151,
                                                                    2683, 2716, 2734, 2794, 2800, 2824, 4049, 4053.
                 16 12 +51.8   59 +42  0.060   813  150   Dra-Her   2149, 2168, 2169, 2184.
Bootes           13 55 +24.2   96 +20  0.061   826  150   Boo       1781, 1795, 1825, 1827, 1828, 1831.
                 01 04 -49.3  248 -13  0.063   852  100   Phe       2841, 2854, 2889.
Pisces-Cetus (b) 01 30 +16.9  315  -4  0.063   852  200   Psc-Ari   150, 152, 154, 158, 171, 179, 225, 257, 292, 311.
                 03 12 -24.2  278 -37  0.065   879  150   Eri-For   419, 428, 3094, 3095.
                 00 56  -0.2  296   0  0.066   892  100   Cet       102, 116, 134.
Horologium       03 29 -48.3  247 -37  0.067   905  550   Hor-Eri   3074, 3078, 3089, 3093, 3098, 3100, 3104, 3106, 3107,
                                                                    3108, 3109, 3110, 3111, 3112, 3116, 3120, 3122, 3123,
                                                                    3125, 3128, 3135, 3140, 3145, 3158, 3164, 3225, 3266,
                                                                    3312.
                 04 44 -20.8  282 -59  0.067   905  200   Eri-Lep   500, 514, 524, 3260.
                 23 37 +20.2  312 +23  0.068   918  100   Peg       2618, 2630, 2637.
                 00 58 -66.0  231 -15  0.069   931  150   Tuc       2819, 2859, 2864.
                 11 12  +3.6  105 -24  0.072   970  150   Leo       1149, 1171, 1205, 1238.
Corona Borealis  15 25 +30.3   90 +40  0.072   970  250   CBo       2005, 2019, 2056, 2061, 2065, 2067, 2079, 2089, 2092,
                                                                    2122, 2124.
                 22 42 -17.0  269 +25  0.072   970  100   Aqr       2456, 2459, 2462, 2480, 2492.
                 10 33  +4.3  101 -32  0.073   983  100   Sex       1024, 1032, 1066.
                 11 12 +40.6   70  -8  0.074   996   50   UMa       1173, 1187, 1190, 1203.
                 11 58 +31.8   82  -3  0.074   996  100   UMa-Com   1365, 1423, 1480.
                 14 01 +26.9   93 +21  0.074   996  150   Boo       1775, 1800, 1873, 1898.
                 21 52 -55.3  230 +10  0.075  1008  200   Ind       3771, 3785, 3796, 3806, 3822, 3825, 3826, 3886.
                 13 47  +3.4  117 +13  0.077  1034  100   Vir       1773, 1780, 1809.
                 01 54  +4.3  305 -13  0.078  1047  100   Psc-Cet   245, 279, 294.
                 05 26 -39.9  241 -59  0.078  1047  200   Col       3332, 3336, 3351, 3356.
                 15 11  +6.5  119 +34  0.078  1047  150   Vir-Ser   2028, 2029, 2033.
                 21 56 -20.2  259 +33  0.080  1073  100   Cap-Aqr   2378, 2394, 2412.
                 22 56 +17.8  308 +33  0.080  1073  100   Peg       2479, 2516, 2524.
                 23 17 -11.4  278 +20  0.080  1073  200   Aqr       2511, 2525, 2559, 2569, 2597, 2638.
                 03 09 -11.9  293 -35  0.081  1086  100   Eri       415, 420, 423.
                 11 43 +11.3  100 -14  0.081  1086  150   Leo-Vir   1307, 1337, 1358, 1385, 1390.
                 08 42 +27.8   57 -39  0.083  1111  150   Cnc       690, 692, 699.
                 12 22 +12.3  102  -5  0.083  1111  150   Com-Vir   1474, 1526, 1541, 1552.
                 12 58  -2.5  119   0  0.083  1111  100   Vir       1620, 1650, 1651, 1663.
                 22 04 -10.1  271 +37  0.083  1111  250   Cap-Aqr   2376, 2377, 2400, 2402, 2410, 2420, 2428, 2448.
                 23 18 -21.7  268 +16  0.084  1124  150   Aqr       2538, 2556, 2566, 2599, 4003.
                 01 31 -27.7  271 -15  0.086  1150  100   Scl       2915, 2919, 2924.
                 18 33 +69.7   29 +36  0.086  1150  150   Dra       2295, 2301, 2304, 2308, 2311, 2312, 2315.
Grus             22 59 -44.7  245  +8  0.087  1163  150   Gru       3908, 3910, 3925, 3963, 3972, 3998.
                 01 53  -5.3  295 -15  0.088  1175  100   Cet       256, 266, 277. 281.
Microscopium     20 34 -35.4  231 +34  0.089  1188  150   Mic-Sgr   3677, 3682, 3691, 3693, 3694, 3695, 3696, 3705.
                 10 09  -0.1  103 -40  0.094  1252  150   Sex       919, 933, 954.
                 00 05  +4.8  298 +13  0.096  1277  150   Psc       3, 2694, 2698, 2700.
                 05 49 -23.0  269 -73  0.096  1277  100   Lep       3365, 3367, 3368.
                 12 47 +63.1   54 +13  0.102  1352  100   Uma-Dra   1566, 1621, 1646.
                 14 45 +55.2   62 +28  0.102  1352  100   Dra-Boo   1925, 1962, 1999, 2000.
                 00 42 -27.8  269  -4  0.106  1403  250   Cet-Scl   42, 80, 88, 118, 122, 2778, 2780, 2784, 2798, 2801,
                                                                    2804, 2811, 2814, 2829, 2850.
                 23 08 -14.5  274 +21  0.108  1428  100   Aqr       2529, 2533, 2543.
                 11 42 +10.6  101 -14  0.109  1440  200   Leo-Vir   1341, 1342, 1345, 1354, 1372.
                 03 42 -33.1  266 -43  0.110  1452  100   For       3146, 3150, 3166.
                 11 54 +62.9   53  +7  0.110  1452  200   UMa-Dra   1289, 1322, 1477, 1518.
                 23 13 -21.6  268 +17  0.111  1465  100   Aqr       2541, 2546, 2548, 2554, 2579, 2583.
                 01 39  -7.1  293 -12  0.112  1477  150   Cet       216, 217, 229, 243.
                 02 53 -25.0  277 -33  0.112  1477  100   For       389, 3062, 3070.
                 12 13 +68.2   48 +11  0.112  1477  250   Dra       1302, 1366, 1406, 1421, 1432, 1559, 1561, 1597, 1674.
                 15 20 +31.6   88 +39  0.113  1490  150   CBo-Boo   2034, 2049, 2062, 2069, 2083.
                 00 10 -35.8  259   0  0.116  1527  150   Scl       2715, 2721, 2730, 2767.
                 14 56 +21.4  101 +34  0.116  1527  200   Boo       1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1988, 2006, 2017, 2036.
                 21 35   0.0  279 +47  0.119  1564  100   Aqr       2353, 2355, 2356.
                 10 44 +75.3   39  +8  0.122  1601  300   Dra       786, 809, 818, 848, 948, 1029, 1123, 1150, 1297,
                                                                    1301, 1381, 1536.
                 01 16  +4.0  302  -4  0.124  1625  150   Psc       153, 162, 172, 192.
                 01 43 -10.8  289 -14  0.127  1662  100   Cet       226, 228, 259.
                 23 11 -22.4  267 +17  0.132  1723  200   Aqr       2518, 2521, 2540, 2555, 2565, 2568, 2577.
                 09 24 +73.7   36  +3  0.133  1735  100   Cam-Dra   762, 765, 787, 788.
                 11 50  -1.6  114 -16  0.134  1747  150   Vir       1373, 1392, 1407.
                 16 21 +42.2   70 +48  0.135  1759  200   Her       2158, 2172, 2179, 2183, 2196, 2211.
                 10 22 +50.6   57 -10  0.136  1772  200   UMa       950, 985, 990, 1002, 1004.
                 11 36 +71.8   44  +9  0.148  1916  150   Dra-UMa   1254, 1329, 1315, 1339.
                 15 35 +37.3   80 +41  0.152  1963   50   CBo       2093, 2096, 2100.
                 10 22 +50.1   57 -10  0.155  1999   50   UMa       965, 980, 1000.
                 11 18 +17.4   92 -17  0.169  2164  100   Leo       1204, 1219, 1232.
                 10 00 +71.2   40  +2  0.187  2371  150   UMa       864, 873, 914, 922.
                 23 44 -10.4  281 +14  0.191  2417  100   Aqr       2646, 2652, 2661.
                 13 16 +58.3   60 +16  0.194  2451  100   UMa       1687, 1707, 1731.
                 10 25 +67.7   44  +2  0.200  2519  200   UMa       945, 968, 981, 998, 1005, 1006, 1017.
                 01 36 -13.1  286 -13  0.207  2597  100   Cet       209, 222, 223.
                 14 44 +31.2   89 +31  0.225  2797  150   Boo       1958, 1961, 1963.

Column 1: Usual name for the supercluster if it has one.
Column 2: Right Ascension of the supercluster for epoch 2000.
Column 3: Declination of the supercluster for epoch 2000.
Column 4: Supergalactic longitude.
Column 5: Supergalactic latitude.
Column 6: The supercluster's redshift.
Column 7: Distance to the supercluster in millions of light years, assuming that
          the Hubble constant is 70 km/s/Mpc.
Column 8: Size of the supercluster in millions of light years.  This is a rough
          figure based on the distribution of the Abell clusters in the supercluster.
Column 9: Constellation(s) in which the majority of the supercluster lies.
Column 10: All known Abell clusters that make up the supercluster.

References:
Struble M, Rood H, (1999), A compilation of redshifts and velocity
                dispersions for ACO clusters, Astrophys J, 125, 35.
Abell G, Corwin H, Olowin R, (1989), A catalogue of Rich Clusters of
                Galaxies, Astrophys J Supp, 70, 1.

Technical Information

The above table was produced by searching for all Abell clusters (with a published redshift) that lie within 2200 km/s of each other in redshift space. (2200 km/s is roughly equal to 100 million light years.) I am not the first person to ever do this, there have been many catalogues of clusters of Abell clusters published. A recent example is this paper (see also this link) by Einasto, Einasto, Tago, Muller and Andernach. Note that although these tight concentrations of Abell clusters usually correspond to actual superclusters, this technique does not show the many walls and sheets of galaxies that link the superclusters.

Digitized Sky Survey image
This is what a really distant galaxy cluster looks like on a photographic plate. The yellow smudges on this photograph are galaxies in the cluster Abell 1961, part of a very distant supercluster in Bootes nearly 3 billion light years away.
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